The Easy Way To Harvest Seeds
This article comes from homesteaddreamer.com
I want to learn, and hone, how to harvest seeds from my garden for the next year’s crop. To me, it is the ultimate in self reliance! No more seed ordering every year or the expense that goes with it. Not that my seed cost is huge, mind you, but that’s not the point. The problem is, I have a lazy streak that doesn’t do me any favors.
Because of that, I tend to try and learn the easier things first. It helps me feel like I am accomplishing something and able to see some results more quickly. I’ve fiddled around with seed saving before, successfully at that, but I feel I got lucky more than anything. I got a wild hair and decided to take a few pinto beans from a bag I had in the pantry and planted them to see what would happen. Well, the plant grew and a few pods survived the slug battle of 2014. I ended up getting a small handful of beans that eventually ended up in a soup pot but hey, I did it!
Beyond peas and beans, however, are things like carrots and onions. What about those? You plant them, then harvest and never see any signs of seeds. That’s because they are a biennial plant – meaning they need two years to fulfill its full life cycle. To get seeds, you need to let the plants overwinter and grow again. While the carrots and onions are still edible the second year, they aren’t very palatable.
The plants will flower and make seeds that you harvest when dried! Simple as that. You don’t need to let that many plants overwinter, either! Depending how large your crops are of each type of biennial, it’s unlikely you would need more than 5 (3 should be sufficient in all honesty). Each plant will give you dozens, if not hundreds, of seeds but it’s always wide to plan for crop failure. If you only have 2 carrots that you let overwinter and they both fail, you’re sunk. It’s also a good idea to not have all the ones you’re going to let ‘go to seed’ in one area. This will reduce the chance of it all going bad or succumbing to pests or other issues.